From the “where are they now?” file…

Consumer rights group Public Citizen announced Wednesday that former Califorina State Senator Liz Figueroa, D-Fremont, has been named to the Public Citizen Foundation’s board of directors.

From the news release:

figueroa.jpgFigueroa’s powerful defense of consumer rights has kept telemarketers off the line and insurance companies out of hospital rooms. A California state senator from 1999 to 2006, Figueroa helped create the Healthy Families Program, which has provided health care to more than 500,000 California children. She fought for reform in the insurance industry and wrote the landmark law that gave California patients the right to sue negligent HMOs. But the legislation that won her the most ringing endorsements from just about anyone with a phone is the legislation that created California’s “Do Not Call List,” which prompted the Bush administration to follow her lead with a national “Do Not Call” program.

“When it comes to answering the call to activism, especially for the rights of consumers, Public Citizen is definitely the organization I want on my ‘do call’ list ” Figueroa said. “Joining the board is a natural evolution in my commitment to standing up – and not shutting up – when the voices of citizens must be heard.”

Figueroa, who had chaired the Senate’s Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, was termed out last year; she ran in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, but finished behind winner John Garamendi and state Senator Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough. In January, state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, named her to the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, where she’s earning $114,191 per year through the start of 2011.

Also named to the Public Citizen Foundation’s board was television producer Steve Skrovan, a longtime stand-up comic who wrote for “Seinfeld” and produced “Everybody Loves Raymond;” working with a fellow comic who had found plenty of material in her first job as Public Citizen’s founder Ralph Nader’s office manager, Skrovan co-wrote, produced and directed “An Unreasonable Man,” a documentary about Nader released in 2006.

And named to Public Citizen’s board was David Halperin, a former speechwriter for former President Bill Clinton and presidential candidate Howard Dean who now is senior vice president at the Center for American Progress and the director of Campus Progress, the Center’s effort to help young people make their voices heard.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.